Whiplash rental for $1 on Amazon

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I borrowed it for free from the library and felt ripped off.

And Ed Norton should have won Best Supporting Actor for Birdman, dammit.

Speaking of which, question for Hollywood types (i.e. @Donald_Petersen) - why do the Oscars strand Best Supporting Actor right at the start away from all the other major awards?

Also, Donald - fan of all things Neil Marshall - Centurion’s a bit crap, isn’t it? I mean, I didn’t have high expectations, but jeez.


Pretty much because they go in ascending order of importance, according to some rubric that makes sense to the Academy. The Supporting Actors aren’t quite as important as the lead Actors, which aren’t as important as Best Picture. At the same time, the supporting actors are generally celebs you’ve heard of and want to see, and if you start the telecast with things like Sound Editing and Documentary Short, then nobody’d tune in until the last hour. So they bookend the show with things you want to see, and pad the middle with things that only insiders are generally interested in.

Didn’t see it. I really should, since I genuinely like everything of his I’ve seen, even though I know Doomsday is a movie that really could only ever appeal to me and nobody else. But Dog Soldiers earned a nearly bottomless well of credit from me, since it’s still the best werewolf movie I’ve ever seen.

I don’t know how I missed Centurion. Probably couldn’t talk anyone else into seeing it with me, and you know I won’t go to the movies alone.


Saw it in the theater in February and left the theater vibrating with how much tension they managed to cram into that relationship. Everybody’s got his own taste, of course, but for me it was head and shoulders better than anything else I saw last year including and especially Birdman. (And while I agree that Ed Norton was great in Birdman and wouldn’t have begrudged him the Oscar in the least, I was thrilled for J.K. Simmons.)



a work of petty didacticism that shows off petty mastery

He’s talking about his own review, right?

My god, he wants to shoe-horn in his own knowledge of jazz to the point where he totally undermines his review of the actual film, which he does accurately touch upon at times throughout what amounts to a didactic journey through his personally skewed interpretation of jazz history.

Anyway, the point which he doesn’t miss and which he then goes on to completely ignore, is that the relationships in the film are particularly powerful because of their psychopathic foundations. Something that I thought highlighted an unsettling and unsolvable facet of human relationships, especially that of a master/student.

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This flick will give you PTSD!


I’ve read Richard Brody’s review. He makes the mistake of thinking Whiplash is a movie about jazz music. It’s no more about jazz than Citizen Kane is a movie about the newspaper industry.


J. K. Simmons gets angry? I like it already.


It’s hard to believe that he’s the same guy who voices the yellow M&M.


angry Pete, your user icon looks a little bit like the book I am holding right now

Spot on. I loved this movie!

Yeah. I did this one and Nightcrawler within the same week.


It’s going to be all John Wick and Marvel licenses for a while now.

He’s also Cave Johnson, who had this to say “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"


Cave Johnson. We’re Done Here!


Hmm. As a drummer and jazz dude and someone who knows a thing or two about academic music I hated the movie (so much wrong; the list is long), but as a dramaturgist and budding script writer I thought it was awesome. I feel conflicted.


Successful at working the tropes and infuriatingly/hysterically cliche. The message is unambiguosly banal as well. The abuser/Fletcher (physical, mental, and emotional in this case) is simply attempting to forge a prodigy - does it matter if people get hurt in that proccess? If a student can successfully emulate/overpower the abusive teacher they will succeed!
The message: Forget about your supportive, good advice dispensing, single father (a failure because he’s a teacher, according to Fletcher <–teacher also). Instead try to impress the abusive asshole?

I think that’s a superficial reading. It’s a character drama about a destructive relationship. I don’t think the last few minutes is supposed to make it constructive. It reminds me a little of Black Swan, “perfect”.

Edit: “Superficial” isn’t the right word there. I mean more like “that’s one reading”, perhaps.

I loved the movie too, but it’s critical to realize:

  • This was a portrait of a terrible teacher. The standard trope is the asshole teacher who makes you do things (wax on/wax off) but it all turns out to be worth it. This is not that story. He is a horrible man, and his student succeeded and triumphed in spite of him (unlike the fate of at least one prior student).
  • This is not the way jazz should be done.

I think the last few minutes were definitely supposed to be constructive. It is a character drama about a destructive relationship and in the last few minutes Andrew (the protagonist) literally walked away from his father, who was counseling his son NOT to take the self/destructive path, and instead Andrew goes on the stage to “beat” Fletcher at his own game. There was foreshadowing at the family dinner table when Andrew made the comment about fame being worth the cost, so the ending wasn’t a surprise. I’m just disappointed that the message was the trite, beat fire with fire, rather then having a more inventive outcome.

Guess that cycle of abuse gets perpetuated once again - because that’s the only way to achieve fame and be successful…

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" He is a horrible man, and his student succeeded and triumphed in spite of him (unlike the fate of at least one prior student)."

I don’t agree that he (student/Andrew) triumphed in spite of him (teacher/Fletcher). Andrew “triumphed” because he used Fletcher’s own tactics to demolish his teacher publicly. Andrew learned Fletcher’s lesson all too well and then beat the teacher at his own game. So rather than in spite of Fletcher, Andrew triumphed because of him, which is why I don’t like the message of this film.

J.K. Simmons is very convincing in the role of Fletcher!